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Arum talks Brandon Rios and Gilberto Ramirez

Arthur Abraham Brandon RiosBy Dan Ambrose: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he was able to get WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (44-4, 29 KOs) to agree to come to the U.S to fight his fighter Gilberto Ramirez (33-0, 24 KOs) by making him an offer he can’t refuse.

Arum needs the 24-year-old Ramirez to defeat Abraham in order to turn him into a star. Abraham and Ramirez will be fighting on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley 3 card on April 9 on HBO pay-per-view from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s unclear how much money it cost the 84-year-old Arum to get Abraham to agree to come over from Germany to take the fight with Ramirez. Abraham normally doesn’t fight outside of his home country of Germany.

For Abraham to have agreed to come to the U.S to defend his WBO title, Arum must have given him a huge offer. Some boxing fans might think that Arum is doing his best to buy a title for his fighter Ramirez. Arum definitely has set it up for Ramirez to win a world title on April 9. Now it’s up Ramirez to do his part and beat Abraham to pick up his title.

“Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao are not young chickens,” says Arum to Fighthype. “Their time in boxing is limited, so you have to build future superstars to maintain interest in the sport. These three guys [Gilberto Ramirez, Oscar Valdez and Jose Carlos Ramirez] have the opportunity to be superstars of the future,” said Arum.

In talking about Arthur Abraham, Arum said “I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse [to come to the U.S]. You know, Ramirez can’t fight bigger names without fighting and beating a big name like Arthur Abraham. He’s been a champion for a number of years. He’s a well-known fighter. For Ramirez to get into the circle of the big fights, he’s got to win the championship from Abraham.”

Considering that Ramirez is the underdog in this fight, he’s going to need go on the attack in a big way against Abraham if he wants to win the fight without controversy. The last thing that Ramirez, Arum and Top Rank need is Ramirez winning a home decision. The 24-year-old Ramirez is from Mexico, but his promoter Arum and Top Rank are putting on the promotion.
Brandon Rios (33-3-1, 24 KOs) hasn’t fought since being stopped in the 9th round last November.

Rios, 29, said after the fight that he’ll be retiring from boxing. However, last month, he announced on Twitter and Instagram that he would be resuming his pro career. Arum says that Rios still hasn’t contacted him, however. He wants Rios to contact him so that he can schedule fights for him.

Rios is no longer with long-time trainer Robert Garcia. It’s unclear how well Rios will do without him to help get him ready for his fights.

“I’ve been in the business for 50 years. When a fighter says [he’s retiring], you can bet the money on the over that he’ll be back within six months,” says Arum about Rios. “He should call us or come in and see us or his manager. Yeah, we’d like to get Brandon Rios back in action. I have no idea what happened. I was as shocked as anyone else when I heard he was leaving Robert [Garcia], who I thought he was bound to the hip and have his father train him. I don’t know what that’s all about. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him,” said Arum.

In fairness to Rios, he was not in shape for the Bradley fight. Had Rios been in the type of shape that he was last year in January for his third fight against Mike Alvarado, I think he would given Bradley all kinds of trouble. Unfortunately for Rios, Top Rank couldn’t get a fight for him until the end of the year in 2015, and he put on a lot of weight. Rios needed more time to take the weight of slowly, and he also needed a tune-up to get ready for the Bradley fight.

I Rios can get back into top shape, he can definitely be one of the top guys in the 147lb division. But, he’s going to need to be in great shape at all times when he’s fighting, and he needs to fight frequently, Top Rank should keep Rios fighting three to four times per year. Even if they have to put him in smaller fights, they need to keep him busy so he doesn’t get out of shape.


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